Major Equity Office Shareholder Favors Vornado Bid

Cohen & Steers, a major shareholder in Equity Office Properties Trust , favors an offer for Equity Office from a Vornado Realty Trust group over an agreement Equity Office has already made to be acquired by Blackstone Group, said Cohen & Steers' Co-Chief Executive Martin Cohen.

The Vornado group's unsolicited offer, which hinges on several conditions, is valued at $52 a share in cash and Vornado stock, the bidding group said. That compares with Blackstone's all-cash deal valued at $48.50 per share.

"I think that it is a far superior bid than the Blackstone bid," said Cohen.

"Though the Blackstone bid is cash, this (Vornado group's offer) is a combination of cash and stock in a company that is going to become a world-beater with respect to the office business worldwide," continued Cohen.

"Their ability to manage assets and to wring out profits from the property portfolio is really unparalleled in the industry. I would rather own a dollar of Vornado than a dollar of cash, particularly in light of what they are going to be able to do with this portfolio."

Asset manager Cohen & Steers controlled about 8% of Equity Office shares as of September 30, according to Reuters data.

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